Let White Flags Fly For Freedom

Let White Flags Fly For Freedom

We come upon this holiday weekend of Independence Day while it seems most of the news shows a country in social turmoil. The “United” States seems more like the “Untied” States. But for the purpose of this devotional I don’t want to center on the country or the Red, White and Blue flag we all pledge. Instead, I want to write about another flag we need to consider waving.

The flag of surrender, the flag of begging for help, the “my car broke down”, the “I give up”, or the “cry uncle”, is the White Flag. But what if true freedom was actually found in our surrendering? What we thought was admitting loss was finding our biggest win, our giving up all was our greatest gain.

Often, what we once believed was FREEDOM had become nothing but chains weighing us down. Trying to balance, control and manage our lives, while trying to please everyone else and still secretly doing what we want is just getting crazy hard. Especially when status quo changes with every breeze that passes by. We think we’re hiding what contradicts with others while pretending to agree with everyone. We just can’t live our lives like that for long before falling apart.

There was a time when I just had to throw up my hands and be done…and I mean, done with ME. An irony from scriptures lets us know that many disciples/apostles felt more freedom when in jail for Christ than when free living in the world. When I realized that surrendering to God was giving me MORE freedom than running from God I knew others may be struggling with the same thing. Maybe you find yourself in this mess…this freedom in chains can become freedom from it.  

What is total surrender? 
Giving everything over to the control of another. As Christians, who are we surrendered to? Who’s in control? ourselves? the devil? God?

Romans 12:1-3
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to:

Give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Because of the privilege and authority God has given me,

I give each of you this warning: 
Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

What surrender is NOT…
Surrender is NOT the same as salvation. Christ giving us eternal life based on our faith is NOT surrendering our lives back to Him. 0-99% Surrender is NOT total surrender. The devil doesn’t care if it is even 1%…he still has a hold. 100% means giving everything…our service as well as our failings…just like a sacrifice God takes it all and burns up the bad and uses the good. I understand that there are things we struggle with BUT turning them over to God, sacrificing 100% allows God to be in control of those areas in our life. Why do we hold onto them? Do we feel we can control them better than God?

What is in your life that is so worth holding onto that you would not give 100% of your lives to God?

Today, maybe the flag you need to wave is not so much the American Flag or any other flag you want to opt to protest against society. Maybe the flag you need to wave is the one of SURRENDER. The White Flag that says “I give in to the One more powerful than me. Today I surrender my heart and my life to you, nothing held back.” As someone who needs salvation from sin, it’s a surrender in faith that Jesus paid the cost for your sins. Stop paying the price for the wrongs in your life. It’s a gift FREELY given. You can have FREEDOM for…ummm…FREE. 

2 Corinthians 6:16-20

I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

John 8:31-36

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. But we are descendants of Abraham, they said. We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, You will be set free? Jesus replied, I tell you the truth (see John 14:6), everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 

Pastor Steve